KARACHI: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was quoted as saying that the Army will do its utmost to help and assist the federal and provincial governments address the issues of Karachi.
This assurance was given by the army chief to a cross-section of the trade and commerce leaders who met him on Tuesday.
Talking to Geo News show ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Key Saath’, traders’ representative Siraj Qasim Teli said no specific assurances were given for making any efforts to improve the conditions of Karachi.
"We briefed the COAS about the plight of the city in detail who had also taken an aerial view of the city. We told the COAS that the city’s infrastructure has been so badly damaged due to the rains that even the army jeeps cannot use the streets of industrial zones. We requested Gen Bajwa that with the funding from the political government, Karachi be handed over to FWO and NDMA for developing its infrastructure."
The COAS said that a committee comprising federal and provincial governments had been established to focus on addressing the issues of the megapolis. He said the Pakistan Army was doing its bidding to address the civic problems. The army chief said the army serves and supports the political government and they would do their utmost to help both the provincial and federal governments. Siraj Teli said they also discussed the business-related issues with Gen Bajwa.
Speaking next, President PBIF Mian Zahid told senior anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada that they had informed the COAS that the unprecedented rains had also exposed the bad performance of civic agencies. "We would tell the same to the prime minister and we hope that since the institutions are geared to help the biggest city, its problems will be addressed. If the infrastructure and conducive environment is provided for doing business, the city that generates Rs2,600 billion in revenue, could easily give over Rs4,000 billion in annual taxes," he said. Zahid expressed the hope that the commitments made at the top level will also bear fruit soon.
INP adds: Quoting the COAS, a traders’ representative said that they were assured that the issues of the rain-hit Karachi would be solved soon.
The traders conveyed their grievances to the army chief during the meeting and requested him to bind the electricity, gas, water and other utility providers to solve issues faced by the city.
According to the traders’ representative, they were assured that the Karachi issues would be solved on an immediate basis. Road infrastructure, water, power and gas issues faced by the city will be addressed.
It is pertinent to mention here that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday arrived in Karachi on a two-day visit.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed his satisfaction over the pace of relief work and said that the Army will not disappoint the people in their time of need.
He said that this natural calamity provided an opportunity to set the priority for the management of mega cities across Pakistan to avoid such disasters in future. The COAS said that the plans being made by the federal and provincial governments will have Army’s all-out support.